The Uninsured Motorist and How to Protect Yourself
Uninsured Motorist Coverage is an auto insurance policy clause that covers harm caused by a motorist with nonexistent or insufficient insurance coverage. The purpose is to allow an injured party to receive compensation from their own insurance company that is above what is offered by the policy held by the driver who caused the accident.
Be sure to add uninsured motorist coverage to your car insurance policy. For a number of reasons, many drivers in the Tampa Bay Area choose not to have any liability insurance. As you may already know, Florida does not require drivers to have liability insurance. In fact, Florida has one of the highest rates of underinsured drivers in the When those people cause an automobile accident and injure someone, uninsured motorist coverage is often the only way to insure that there is a source of money to pay medical bills and lost wages. It could be the only way the innocent victims are compensated for their pain and suffering. Recently, the Insurance Research Institute did a study, which found that approximately 14% of drivers are not insured. The Insurance Research Council estimated that Florida has a nearly a 19% uninsured rate.
If I have no fault (PIP), do I also need uninsured motorist coverage?
Based on Florida Statute 627.736, a motor vehicle owner is required to carry $10,000.00 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This allows an car accident injury victim to seek medical treatment and reimbursement of lost wages without needing a court of law to determine who is at-fault. Hence the term “no fault.”
In contrast, uninsured motorist coverage will cover medical bills that exceed the available no fault benefits, future medical expenses, lost wages not covered under PIP, pain and suffering, future loss of earning potential and diminished quality of life.
Florida insurance carriers must offer uninsured coverage
Insurance carriers are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage and must have all applicants execute a selection/rejection form if he/she opts to reject uninsured motorist insurance. Beware that many insurance brokers fail to properly explain the importance of uninsured motorist coverage as it will effect the loss ratio of the salesperson. In other words, the insurance carrier will be exposed to a much greater risk by adding this benefit to a policy and often encourage brokers or salespeople to either not encourage the applicant to request such coverage or flat out discourage it.
What does stacking coverage mean?
Brokers and insurance salespeople rarely provide a detailed explanation of what “stacking” coverage means. In the context of uninsured motorist coverage, the policyholder can stack coverage based on the amount of cars to be covered in the policy. For instance, if you opt for $100,000.00 in uninsured insurance and have three cars on the policy, you can stack the policy so that there is really $300,000.00 in coverage. The amount of coverage would be multiplied by the number of cars covered.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA strongly recommends uninsured coverage
Nearly one in five Florida motorists are uninsured! This figure is well above the national average. Based on such, consumer advocates strongly encourage Florida drivers to pay the extra few dollars for uninsured motorist coverage. The Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA agrees. Ultimately, uninsured motorists cause drivers who actually have insurance, to pay significantly higher premiums. This is in addition to being unable to pay for the damages they cause to innocent bystanders. Currently, some states are trying to enforce mandatory insurance requirements. For example, some states use means such as authorizing police officers to remove license plates cars that have been in accidents where there is no insurance coverage. Drivers still disregard their state's laws.
Other states are currently penalizing uninsured drivers by banning them from pursuing a claim for their own pain and suffering, even if they are injured due to someone else's negligence on the roadways.
Studies indicate that such aggressive enforcement of insurance requirements may result in more drivers complying with their states' laws, But just in case: protect yourself by buying uninsured motorist coverage. While you may pay more money now, if you are ever the victim of an accident, you will rest assured knowing you have a way to seek compensation for the injuries you sustain in a vehicular accident.
Nowadays, the Florida legislature recognizes how valuable uninsured motorist coverage is. This is why insurance companies are required to have drivers sign a form specifically rejecting uninsured motorist coverage if they choose not to purchase it. Remember, although signing the form and rejecting uninsured motorist coverage may save you a small amount of money in the immediate future, it leaves you susceptible to having to pay out of pocket for all of your damages if you are injured in an automobile accident.
Clearwater Insurance Lawyers
The attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have years of experience dealing with the insurance companies, varying insurance policies, and those who are in need of filing insurance claims. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an automobile accident, call the Clearwater insurance lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today. We can help you navigate the complex path in maximizing your insurance company claim. Our phone number is 727-451-6900. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.